Just Trying to Hold It Down!

brother tears

It’s Wednesday … It’s Hump Day, yeahhh, Baby!

The climate and weather patterns are getting so much cooler … cold even … faster, so it seems to me! But what do I know … anymore … since living here in Florida?! All I know is what I have been seeing with snow falling in many parts of the northwestern USA.

So, yes, yesterday was Veteran’s Day. Many women and men have served in the armed forces of this nation … something like 19.6 million up to date, correct me if I am inaccurate. Now that’s a lot of folks, not to mention service dogs. I think many of us know … or at least accept that “war is hell”! It fosters an intrinsic behavior that propels the most basic instincts in humans, coupled with fear and other unknowns. War has tremendous impact on the average person’s life and many “average people” cannot handle it … alone. There are many people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder who are veterans that have “fallen through the cracks”, so to speak,of the Veterans Administration and their efforts to help veterans adjust “back” to civilian life. The POTUS was alarmed at the number of veterans who died waiting for treatment while it was clear that the “books” were being doctored more than the veterans themselves!! A change came also with the leadership of the VA in this country.

Well, yesterday, in Fort Lauderdale at Cinema Paraiso, a movie was showcased regarding the life of a barber by day/fisherman by hobby and a Vietnam War Veteran who suffers from PTSD. The film shows how this barber/hair stylists (of both men and women) takes this veteran suffering from PTSD and how he finds boating and fishing to be extremely therapeutic and life altering in an good way, helping this gent battle this horrific disorder. If we look back at some of the most spontaneous and strange attacks at places like the White House or the Navy Yard and shootings and killings, we will note that these soldiers’ families’ argue that they may have suffered from PTSD … and it went either unnoticed or untreated!! This is a very serious matter. Indeed, “war is hell”! I just missed the draft for the Vietnam War by a few months as I hadn’t turned 18 until July in the summer after graduation from St. Paul’s School. While living in the Winbrook Apartment Complex in White Plains, NY, we watched young men go off to fight in that war … and we saw a few come back … alive! RIP, Glenn Shepherd, who came back with his body showing the horrors of war … barely recognizable except for his dog tag … Peace be still!

Many of us are “just trying to hold it down”, so … imagine what they must be faced with?!? Sometimes in my daily routines, I see people getting all bent out of shape … say, for a phone call like on my day job. They start screaming and yelling as if someone robbed them when a telemarketer calls!! Now, I know it can be annoying. Yet, I often want to say to people, “Calm down, you are not in a war zone, Man! This is just a telephone call!! What would you do if a bomb dropped on your a$$!?!” But I don’t say anything … Once again, to those veterans who have served and who will serve, thank you!


John I. Cook

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